The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) has downplayed the reported increase of rape incidents in the city.
Based on the record of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the city has the country’s highest number of rape cases in the second quarter of 2018 with 42 cases.
It is higher that the cities of Quezon (41) and Manila (32), both in the National Capital Region, and two other prime cities in Mindanao — Cagayan de Oro (24) and Zamboanga (21).
But DCPO spokesperson Sr. Insp. Ma. Theresita Gaspan said the increase of rape cases recorded from the months of April to June is attributed to their intensified awareness campaign to inform the public to report such cases to the authorities.
Gaspan said that most of the cases actually happened years ago and was reported late to the police.
She said the rape cases in the first half of the year actually reduced.
They recorded 89 cases from January to July this year, a reduction of 43 cases compared to the same period last year in which 132 cases were reported.
“Once (the victim) went to the police precinct, (the rape case) is already recorded,” Gaspan said.
“So (the report) will directly enter into the crime registry that will be furnished to the national police headquarters.”
Gaspan said most of the rape victims who recently came out only wanted to put in record the incident.
“Some of them are not willing to file a case (in court),” Gaspan lamented.
Most of the offenders are members of the immediately family — fathers, brothers, uncles, hence the victims usually don’t pursue the case.
“(Most) victims are children who came from dysfunctional families. There are victims whose parents are working abroad,” Gaspan said.
She cited the lack of support from the family as the cause why the victims are shying away from filing the case.
Gaspan said most reported rape incidents happened inside the houses of the victims, “which is beyond security coverage of the police.”
Police Regional Director Marcelo Morales said the police can’t help the victim of incestuous rape “if they continue to keep silent.”
“We can’t police the abodes. Usually, rape cases are being committed by people who are close to the victim,” Chief Supt. Morales said.
The police regional director said the number of rape cases committed outside the home has actually gone down.
“The success of police intervention and successful prosecution depend on the victim’s willingness to come out,” he said.
Gaspan said the police interventions are more on preventive approach.
The DCPO, she said, also intensified the operations on advocacy, especially on the rights of the women and children.
“We have also strengthened our kindercops, wherein we target pre-schoolers up to high school students,” Gaspan said.
“We have educated them on the bad and good touches.”
Gaspan said the DCPO has also strengthened the Oplan Sagop Kabataan, a drive to rescue minors who are still on the streets past 10 p.m.
She said police are also conducted inspections in all internet shops to block minors for accessing pornography.
Gaspan said they are also planning to conduct a consultative meeting or strategic planning to all stakeholders for the safety protection and social services to address such crime.
“It is should not only be done by the police but we must work hand in hand,” she further said.
The recently widely reported rape incident in the city was last June when the victim, a 16-year-old girl, was found dead in Libby Road, Barangay Bago Gallera in Talomo District.
Suspect James Barrete Narte was killed inside the Talomo Police Precinct as he allegedly grabbed a police officer’s gun.